This is a panel that should be very relevant to all entrepreneurs who have an interest in getting and monetizing patents, as well as those who work with them. "A New Age in Patent Liquidity: New Opportunities for Entrepreneurs," is presented by MIT Enterprise Forum of NYC.
I will be on the panel to present the perspective of an entrepreneur/inventor who has successfully navigated the Kafkaesque world of patents, which can be rewarding, but also hugely frustrating, costly, and risky. I described some of the twists and turns of my adventures in a 2008 blog post "'The Six Phases of a Technology Flop' ...Patents, and Plan B." The theme was how I started seeking to build a software/services business, but also sought patents as a hedge to protect my investment -- a "Plan B." When the business failed to keep up with better-connected competitors with deeper pockets, I turned to the patents to try to capture value for my innovations. Working with partners who brought the expertise and funding needed to do that, and eventually to undertake a patent suit, I went part way through infringement cases against Microsoft and Apple. Some additional background on that is in last year's post that tells how Intellectual Ventures changed the game with a very creative, win-win deal.
I also expect to touch on my 2008 sale of another portfolio of patents to another very innovative company, RPX, as well as my ongoing work developing other patents. I am pleased that Kevin Barhydt, VP, Head of Acquisitions for RPX (and formerly at IV) will also be on the panel.
From my perspective, IV, RPX, and others are making a real difference is offering inventors and other patent owners a way to monetize their IP for reasonable compensation -- in a market that is rational, and has a middle ground between "take a hike" and the nuclear option of litigation, with its huge costs in money, time, and disruption.
It is a pleasure to be a panelist and organizer for this event, especially given that I was the moderator and an organizer of MITEF's well-received 2000 panel session "Patents for Dot-coms," which had an equally distinguished panel.